UN Secretary-General seeks $3.8 billion for 25 million people in 24 countries in 2008

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 10 Dec 2007
(Geneva: 10 December 2007): United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for $3.8 billion to provide urgent support to 25 million people in humanitarian emergencies in 24 countries worldwide.

"We live in a world of unprecedented prosperity. But despite this, millions of people continue to endure crises where the essentials of existence - clean water, life-saving drugs, and emergency shelter among others - are denied them and where insecurity is a part of everyday life," the Secretary-General said.

The Humanitarian Appeal 2008 comprises ten consolidated appeals for the Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, the West African region, and Zimbabwe, covering 24 countries altogether.

The Appeal marks the culmination of a vast undertaking in which 188 organizations including United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and other international organizations have united to meet the world's major humanitarian challenges in a strategic, coordinated, effective, and prioritized way.

"Many humanitarian crises involving conflict continue, in Somalia, Sudan, the occupied Palestinian territory, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to name just a few - and people living in such extreme circumstances need continued generosity in 2008," said John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "Floods, hurricanes, cyclones, and drought also struck more frequently and more intensely in 2007. This points to a future where aid agencies, and the world's vulnerable poor, who are usually the most affected, will have to respond ever more frequently to climate-related disasters," he added.

"We need to see an expansion in the amount of humanitarian aid from all sides-from both traditional donors, and new donors, including from middle income countries," Mr. Holmes emphasized. "Although we know that legislators face many competing priorities, we are asking for merely a few cents of humanitarian aid for every hundred dollars of national income," he said.

John Holmes presided over the launch of the Humanitarian Appeal 2008 this morning. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of CARE International Dr. Robert Glasser, Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson, and former refugee Mr. Akoi Bazzie also made statements.

To find out more and have your say, visit www.humanitarianappeal.net.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.